The Ministry of Lisa Copen

Lisa Copen, Founder of Rest Ministries which serves the chronically ill, shares about mothering, illness, ministry and more.

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Invisible Illness Week Thoughts – Day 1

woman-pjsI am up and at the computer about to start day 2 of National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness WeeK. Your prayers have been so appreciated and I am thrilled that day 1 worked out so well with no technical glitches, no computer errors, etc.

This year I really wanted Georgia Shaffer to speak and Monday morning was the only slot she had available since she had a full week. (Thanks, Georgia for squeezing us in!) So we kicked things off and jumped right into talking about how we deal with our difficulties in life in different ways. We had over 200 listeners for our first show so we were off to a great start.

I have a pumpkin candle to create some atmosphere in my office, but am too scared to light it, so instead am just spritzing pumpkin room spray around. It smells like fall. I keep trying to turn and prop my feet up on a chair. My feet are swelling again and I don’t know if it’s the weather, or due to sitting so long here, or the angle of the chair. I keep moving everything to try to rotate positions.

Next was the 12 pm show. Jennifer Jaff shared some wonderful insight into insurance issues and also what to do when we have a pre-existing condition. This seminar is one you will want to listen to and have a piece of paper ready to take notes. She gave a lot of web sites that are helpful as well, all of which are available at her web site. And just a reminder that her services with her organization Advocacy for Patients are free (yep, you read that right.)

After the second show the phone rang and it was my parents. My mom said, “If it’s okay, I have a plane ticket I can get.” Okay? Yes! My parents had just returned from a trip to TN the day before (after being stuck overnight at SF due to plane issues). I hadn’t asked her to come for II Week because I didn’t think she should be returning from a long trip and then fly down here. She has her own chronic illness issues. But she said, “If you can do this, I can get on a plane. This is why I retired. ” Thanks to Dad who encouraged her to go and gave her 20,000 of her airline miles so the ticket was affordable.

My son gets out of school each day at 2:20 and I have shows at 3 and 5:30. Let’s just say I was desperate enough for childcare, after asking everyone I knew, to post it on Facebook. I figured maybe someone from Rest Ministries would know someone in San Diego and they could watch Josh in my home while I was just in the other room. But my mom is a’comin and should be here by noon today.

I explained to Josh’s teacher that this week was chaotic, and not normal, and that my mom would be picking him up the rest of the week.

If I sounded a bit frazzled when I first came on the line with Joanna Faillace for the 3 o’clock show it was because I picked my son up from school at 2:20. We ran home, I handed him milk and a snack, threw his karate uniform on. Packed him a snack to take. He said he’d wait in the driveway for his ride. I told him he could wait in the house, but he was feeling like a big boy and when I called “I love you!” he hollered back “I love you too.” Ahhh….

Just as we went live he appeared in my office and said, “They aren’t here yet. I’m thirsty.” I hit the mute button and said, “Go back outside. She’s coming. Milk is int he cooler.” I started the show and mouthed to him “I can’t talk” and waved. He went back outside and stood out there to wait for one of my dear friends to pick him up and take him to karate. I left her a bag of mail to drop into a mailbox even. Thank you, Shelley!

Once Joanne started talking I muted myself, took off the headset and ran out there to see if he was still there (Sorry, Joanne!). I had told him to come tell me when Shelley got there. He was gone. So was the mail. Okay…a kidnapper wouldn’t take the mail, right?

I ran back in and was back on the show. Joanne had a wonderful presentation about eating right, foods that are super-naturally healthy, and as always when I talk to her, I came away with some simple things I could easily do to improve my health- and dare I say – even metabolism. Now there is some motivation! I was glad I was keeping my food diary yesterday because I was stressed out enough I would have been eating more than I should.

I got off the phone and called Shelley to make sure she had Josh. They were finishing up karate learning cart wheels and then she was taking him to another a friend’s house to play. I called and left messages for my husband to pick up Josh (“I don’t have the address. He’s playing outside. It’s 2 or 3 houses down from Shelley’s house. Call me if you can’t find him.”) I reminded him to pick up drugs for me at the pharmacy too after work.  And then left 1 more message to pick up eggs.

We had our last Invisible Illness Week show of the day with Maureen Pratt who was calming and talked about having joy and gratitude despite illness. We had some wonderful encouraging calls (I love it when you call in!)

We finished at 6:30. I called my mom to make sure she had her ticket. I called Joel to make sure he found Joshua. They were looking for a clean restroom somewhere near the pharmacy (2 stores didn’t work) and they got home after 8.

I worked on blogs and answered emails until then they arrived home. Gave my kid a big hug and told him how proud of him I was. I grabbed a Nutrisystem lasagna and we ate at 8:15. I had Joel show me how to get the video game out of of the Playstation and then I went to Blockbuster at 8:45 to drop off movies and games that–if were not returned by midnight 9/14–we’d be charged for.

My husband volunteered, but actually I just wanted 15 minutes in the dark car alone and I blasted the “Our Hope Endures” song by Natalie Grant. I just picked up the CD last week as my “gift to myself” for this week and love her song “Our Hope Endures” that came out around the time I started Hope Endures podcasts last year. I will post a link to it later. Amazing song, and lyrics about a friend of hers that has cancer.

Got to bed by 10. Got back up at 10:30 and worked till 11:30. And -praise the Lord, slept!

I woke up at 5 a.m. and prayed for my mom who was just arriving at the airport to fly out. She should be in Seattle now (Eugene to Seattle, to San Diego is how it works.)

Got up at 7:15. I haven’t showered yet but I did throw on some clothes. I had a quick breakfast, watched 10 minutes about remembering Patrick Swayze on the Today show (sad), spent a few minutes in prayer and am going to be answering emails until the show starts with Pam Farrel (so excited to have her!). Then I hope to prepare a bit for the shows today, especially the one I am supposed to be doing on starting a business, since our second scheduled speaker had to cancel due to a family emergency. I have orders to send to our warehouse, and then need to grab a bite to eat.

Please keep us in prayer today. The shows, guests, listeners. Our guests that had to cancel have unspoken prayer requests. My mom’s best friend is 80 years old and having open heart surgery today too. She went into surgery at 7 a.m. and it should last 4-6 hours. So many people are hurting, including many of our speakers who are all coping with their own illnesses, and still doing the shows for all of us.

I hope that together we can reach out to everyone who needs reminded with the Lord’s love and hope.

God bless you, friends. Thanks so much for your support.

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Today’s Hope Notes is Up with Loads of News and Encouragement

Our September 2nd edition of HopeNotes is now available to read! Lots of news about Invisible Illness Week stuff, our new web site, and an amazing video we hope you will watch!

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Interview with “Christian Work at Home Mom” Founder, Jill Hart

There are certain people on the internet that I can really relate to because we are the gals who have a Christian ministry online, who work out of our home (often “work” means we “work” but we don’t get paid), and we juggle all sorts of things in order to try to help our ministry reach more people.

One of those people for me is Jill Hart, founder of the Christian Work at Home Moms ministry. She and I have connected on a more personal level lately and I am excited to soon be joining her ministry as a monthly columnist.

Her web site is packed with information that you will find of value, even if you don’t work, or you do work but are not a mom. (And…. shhhh… guess what? Jill has a chronic illness herself and will be telling us more about it soon.)

I am honored to be a part of her blog tour for her new book below. If you are looking for legitimate “work at home” ideas you will find her book and her web site very helpful.

Lisa

Home-based businesses are estimated to be a $427 billion-a-year industry. In recent studies it was found that as many as 105 million people in North America alone were working at home. Considering this information, it is obvious that home-based businesses can be successful and authors Jill Hart and Diana Ennen will help you succeed with your own.

So You Want to Be a Work-at-Home Mom details all the basics of starting a business in a spiritual, motivational, and comprehensive manner. From deciding what type of business to start to keeping your family and faith first, this helpful tool details every aspect of establishing a business. With proven success tips utilized by the authors and others who own work-at-home businesses, this inspiration approach will provide you with the resources you need to start your own home-based business.

So You Want to Be a Work-at-Home Mom includes:
* Detailed information on types of businesses to start
* Ideas and assistance for setting up, operating, and marketing your business
* Definitions and descriptions of work-at-home terminology and processes
* Help for developing your Website
* Explanations of the business nuts and bolts, including bookkeeping, taxes, and more

About the Authors
JILL HART is the founder of Christian Work at Home Moms, CWAHM.com. Jill is a co-author of So You Want To Be a Work-at-Home Mom. Jill has published many articles and is a contributing author in Laundry Tales, The Business Mom Guide Book, I’ll Be Home for Christmas, and Faith Deployed. She holds a bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies. Learn more about working from home at http://www.cwahm.com/work-at-home/ .

DIANA ENNEN has been a leader and mentor in the work-at-home industry since starting her business, Virtual Word Publishing, in 1985. She is the author of many books, including Virtual Assistant the Series; Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA and Words from Home: Start, Run, and Profit from a Home-Based Word Processing Business. She resides in Margate, Florida, with her husband and their three children.

Below is an interview with the authors of So You Want To Be a Work-at-Home Mom – Jill & Diana.

If  have questions they are happy to answer your questions anytime. Leave a comment below or email Jill@cwahm.com or Diana@virtualwordpublishing.com

How long have you been working at home?

Jill Hart – I’ve been working at home since 2000. I had to go back to work full-time for a brief period in 2003 when my husband got out of the Air Force. At that point I got even more serious about making my business work and I’ve been home full-time since then.

Diana Ennen – I’ve been working at home since 1985, when my son was born. He’s now graduated college and already working towards his own career. I absolutely love it. I can’t imagine doing anything else.

What types of businesses do you operate?

Jill Hart – I run Christian Work at Home Moms, CWAHM.com, a website full of free resources, job listings and information about home businesses. I also write articles and books (yes, more books to come!) and am a blogger for sites like Time/Warner’s Christian Momlogic.com and a member of the Guideposts blogger team

Diana Ennen– I’m the President of Virtual Word Publishing. I’m a virtual assistant and specialize in marketing & publicity. I’ve also written numerous books on how to start a VA business and offer PR and VA Coaching.

Tell us about your book? How do you think it can benefit those who want to start a business?

Jill Hart – The book has been such a “God thing.” He orchestrated the entire sequence of events – from putting Diana and I together as co-authors to bringing us to the right publisher. The book is a hands-on practical guide for anyone who wants to build a business from home. We cover topics ranging from how to select the right type of business for you, to how to get started, to how to market and grow your business.

Diana Ennen – I think one of the best features of our book is that it’s not only informative, but motivational as well. You’ll feel like friends are helping you on your journey to success. Also, we discuss numerous types of businesses to start and provide proven methods to achieve success. We also often hear how starting a business can be so overwhelming. That’s why we pay special attention to all the how tos. We feel very confident our book will help, not only those starting a business, but those already in business wanting to expand it.

What types of businesses are featured in your book?

Jill Hart – We have such a great range of contributors – everything from direct sales companies like Southern Living at Home and Avon to unique product-driven businesses like BSM Media and GrillCharms. These woman are amazing and give readers a great insight into how they’ve grown their businesses in very different ways.

Diana Ennen – We cover everything from direct sales companies to specialized areas such as medical transcription and virtual assisting. Also, Jill shares detailed information on starting a community based membership site. We think you’ll get a lot of helpful tips too from such work-at-home powerhouses as Maria Bailey and Lesley Spencer Pyle.

_woman-workDo you have any tips for success for Christian entrepreneurs that you’d like to share?

Jill Hart – I think my favorite tip – shared with me by one of our contributors, Tammy Degenhart, almost ten years ago is that working together benefits everyone. She told me, “Jill, what you give to others God brings back tenfold” and I’ve seen that hold true time and time again. It may not be in financial gains and it may not look like what we expected but God is so faithful in that when we work together there is no competition – it’s a win-win situation.

Diana Ennen – Do what you believe in and use your own skills and prior experience to find the business that’s just right for you. Research/Research/Research. The more you research, the better your business. Continue to market and be out there. So many once they find a few clients stop marketing. You need to get out there continually. You then become the go to person when someone needs services or products that you offer.

What are some of the challenges that you see with those starting or operating a business?

Jill Hart – In my experience, I’ve talked with many women who get frustrated because success doesn’t come easily or quickly. Working from home may sound easy, but in reality it can actually be just as hard as working outside the home. There are many unique challenges, especially when working at home while raising children. If women don’t prepare themselves, they can become discouraged and disheartened.

Diana Ennen– One of the major challenges I see is losing belief in yourself that you can do it. That’s why I think a faith-based book will be so beneficial. Even when times get tough, you can rely on your faith to forge ahead.

With the economy, do you believe it’s still a good time to start a business? Why?

Jill Hart – I think it’s a better time than ever. The internet is so much more widely used than it was even nine years ago when I began my website. If people do their research and find a company that fits them as well as their budget this can be a great time to break into the work-at-home field.

Diana Ennen – Absolutely. In fact, I think there’s never been a better time. You might have to work a little harder, but it absolutely can be done. Plus, there are so many businesses who need us more than ever because of the economy. For example, with virtual assistants because businesses are downsizing they are seeking the help of a VA to help on an as needed basis.

woman-pray2Your book is written from a Christian perspective? Tell us a little about that and how you feel that makes it so unique?

Jill Hart – My faith is central to who I am and therefore central to my business. I began Christian Work at Home Moms because I wanted women to have a safe place where they could discuss not only business things, but also talk about an area that doesn’t get talked about a lot in business circles – how our faith affects our businesses. The book is written in a way that doesn’t hit anyone over the head with our faith, but it’s true to who we are and talks about things from the vantage point that we see life – through the lens of our faith.

Diana Ennen – There are so many books out there today on starting a business. However, few have the Christian mom in mind. We provide a lot of scriptures and examples of how you can use your faith to help you. Our hope is that not only will your business thrive, but it might just give a little boost to your faith as well.


Learn more about the book at Beacon Hill Press or SoYouWantToBeAWAHM.com.

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Call For Submissions: Invisible Illness Hosts Grand Rounds Blog Carnival

We are honored to be hosting Grand Round 8/18/09, the largest medical blog carnival online.

I am looking for any blog topics related to living with an invisible illness, treating invisible illnesses, having a family member with one, caregiving, etc. Posts can be casual from a patient perspective, or more formal from a medical professional background.

Details are here: http://invisibleillnessweek.com/?p=1811

Submit here:  http://tinyurl.com/nznvak

Deadline for carnival is 8/16, but we also have guest bloggers for our Invisible Illness Week web site. II Week is 9/14-20, 2009

If you can forward this on so we get some great submissions that would be so appreciated!

Lisa

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Why I Began Invisible Illness Week

09_logo-facebookThe last couple of weeks I’ve been juggling more stuff preparing for Invisible Illness Week whihc is Sept 14-20, 2009.

Our web site for #iiwk09 (as known in the Twitter world, you can follow me here) is at www.invisibleillness.com .

You can find articles, guest blog posts, and even a “blog tour” where I am interviewed on different web sites about Invisible Illness Week.

I began this in 2002 and the week has only grown and reached more people because of readers like you who tell their friends about it, post something at Facebook and join our “cause” group there, pass out cards to their support group, and much more.

In fact, the best way to share my heart with you about why I do what I do is to just post my interview here (see above).

National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week is the annual outreach where Rest Ministries steps back from our every day events and and really shares with nonbelievers where we find our daily strength despite our illness and pain. [And I have to say, it annoys some people that a Christian group came up with this event!]

It’s a time we can invite people to our online seminars during our virtual conference, and give them the chance to be encouraged (and not judged… which many people are in their every day lives.) I hope you will support our efforts by heloing in any way possible. There ae lots of ways to get involved –most of them free and with just a few minutes of your time.

Thank you in advance and thanks for your prayers in pulling this off. With God’s strength (and my surrender — a big challenge) I know it will turn out wonderfully!

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Host Interview with Lisa for Invisible Illness Week Blog Tour

handstypingGuess what? Lisa is doing a blog tour to help spread the word about Invisible Illness Week and we are opening up our calendar so book your blog today! The tour is July 27 – September 13th and Lisa hopes to help spread the word about Invisible Illness Week! How does it work?

You sign up for the day that you would like to post an interview with Lisa on your blog. Lisa has answered a variety of questions about NICIAW and you will receive a unique “article” to post—meaning each post may say something similar but the article in itself is unique.

(We are pointing that out because many blog tours provide all blogs with the same exact article, which can cause Google to see it as duplicate content. The wording of the article for your blog site will be completely unique, so Google will actually like it!)

We provide the article with hyperlinks already embedded into the code and graphics that you can upload.

When you sign up you can also submit 2 questions of your own to Lisa that she will answer and email back to you to post with the interview. You can write the intro paragraph, change the wording of the questions, make it sound “like you.”

We are excited to reach many blogs that represent a wide variety of medical professions, as well as illnesses. If you have to wonder if an illness “applies” – it does. And invisible illness can be anything from cancer to migraines, bipolar disorder to lupus, or fibromyalgia to autism. bk_beyondcasseroles

Every blog host will receive a free copy of Lisa’s book, “Beyond Casseroles: 505 Ways to Encourage a Chronically Ill Friend.” It’s a paperback book but we will be giving away a free pdf digital version.

Thank you for your influence in the illness community by sharing your own experiences as well as bringing people together. Once your date is confirmed we will:

  • Post your participation on our Twitter accounts, Facebook, My Space, etc.
  • The day your blog posts we will post it on our Twitter as well. We will do a Twitter post of any blog hosts who have a Twitter account
  • It will be added to our mass calendar for II Week
  • The schedule will be announced via a press release at SBWire.com where it will also hit Google News. The schedule will also be posted on all of our social networks, Invisible Illness Week web site, illnesstwitters.ning.com and more.

We are excited to let people discover how many spectacular health, illness and medical bloggers are out there. If you are interested in hosting, please click here to sign up ASAP to grab your preferred slot!

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My Favorite New Web Site for “Deals”

So it’s Saturday. Are you one of those garage sale shoppers or has your illness prevented you from getting up to go get those deals at 6 a.m. like me?

I have some good news about a cool new tool I just discovered. If you are looking for an item or news, you can now easily be notified. My husband and I have just had a mattress for six years now and would love to get an inexpensive pine bed, something simple, like from IKEA.

But logging on to Craigslist or other web sites to search for something used can be a hassle and you easily miss the deal to someone else.

Then I found notify.me . That’s right, no .COM on the end, but .ME — notify.me

You just go to the web site and sign up for a free account with your email. Then yougo the the web site that has the product you want to watch or be notified of when it is posted.  So for example, I went to San Diego Craigslist and put in the search terms “pine king bed” and then copied that URL (the http://www.websitehere.com) and posted that in the notify me box.

They have a great video you wcan watch for detailed instructions. You can also be notified via phone, instant message, etc.  They also provide other ideas of how to use notify.me, for example when certain words are on Twitter, or Facebook, or Google News.

Anyway, I haven’t found a bed yet, but I’ve gotten about 5 notifications this week and it’s always nice to know when something has posted. If you are looking for a used item at a good sale price, you may definitely be using this as a tool to find just what you are looking for!

____________

And here is another web site I haven’t yet used, but have heard good things about: dealalerter.com . You pick an item, and tell them the price you want to pay for it, and then this web site checks its price daily for you. Deal Alerter then sends you an email alert when the item you want to buy drops to the price you set. Has anyone tried this? Good experience? Bad? I’d love to hear!

Pick an item, and we’ll check its price daily for you — then send you an email alert — when the item you want to buy drops to the price you set.

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